Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins (Grain-Free)

It all began with this recipe for Pumpkin Peanut Butter Skillet Cookie. Until that point, I had frequently used peanut and almonds butter in savory soups, smoothies, sauces, and more (love these sesame peanut noodles!).  I had baked with them, too.  But I had never used nut butters as a full-on replacement for flour in baked goods.  

Once I realized how incredibly well they worked–while lending moister, flavor, and healthy fats to the resulting baked goods–I was a fan.  The initial success inspired further experimentation, and as I baked increasingly more often with nut butters (and nut flours, too), I continued to be delighted by the results.

Not only do these ingredients produce appealing texture and taste (less “nutty” than one might imagine), they offer an excellent nutritional profile including significant protein and quality fats.  They also lend particularly well to baking with natural sweeteners such as honey and maple syrup.

Flash back to last summer, when my husband was traveling for work.  He experienced an exceptionally delay-ridden flight that involved several trips on and off the plane as the passengers exceeded the total amount of time they were permitted, under FAA regulations, to sit on the tarmac.  My husband got to know the person who sat next to him during this ordeal rather well!  They even discovered mutual friends.  She worked for Barney Butter and, after hearing that I  like to cook with almond butter, she kindly gave him a coupon.  (I love a good coupon!)

As my husband told me about his trip, we laughed about how he initially sought out almond butter in the dairy aisle, next to the butter and margarine.  Once you know that almond butter is like peanut butter, this seems rather silly.  I thought it worth mentioning though, as a friend just mentioned she did the same thing recently.  (If you would like to read specifically about almond butter and see the various options, from creamy and chunky to several specialty flavors, click on this link.  You will also find helpful nutritional information here.)

The following recipe has been a favorite of my kids for a while now.  Canned or frozen pumpkin puree make it a year-round option.  I love these muffins, too, but wanted to make one final adjustment to the texture before I shared the recipe.  Recently, I found the final piece of the puzzle: an additional egg white.  These muffins are wonderfully moist and have a slightly fudge-like texture, thanks to the unique combination of ingredients.

It’s worth pointing out that, because the almond butter allows for a baked good with no flour, these muffins are naturally grain- and gluten-free.  That said, nut butters and all-purpose flour cannot be interchanged successfully most recipes.  

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins (Grain-Free)
These muffins don't last long in our house! Luckily, they are easy to mix up, are quite nutritious, and pack a protein punch. While they taste great at room temperature, we like them served cold from the fridge.

Yield: 10 muffins
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  1. 1 cup (9 ounces/255 grams) almond butter (I like smooth in this recipe)
  2. 2/3 cup (5 ounces/140 grams) pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling; canned is fine or make your own)
  3. 2 large eggs plus 1 egg white, lightly beaten
  4. 1/3 cup (4 ounces/110 grams) honey (may substitute maple syrup)
  5. 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (here's a great homemade option)
  6. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  7. 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  8. 1/2 cup (3 ounces/75 grams) dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, and line a standard muffin pan with 10 paper cup liners.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the pumpkin and the almond butter until smooth. (If the almond butter has been stored in the refrigerator and is hard, it is helpful to bring to room temperature before mixing.)
  3. Stir in the eggs and honey. Mix in the pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, and salt. Stir in the chocolate chips, reserving a few for the top, if desired.
  4. Using a large ice cream scoop or a 1/4-cup measure, distribute the batter evenly among 10 muffin cups. Top each muffin with a few reserved chocolate chips.
  5. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the centers are just firm.
  6. Allow to cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  7. Stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator, the muffins will keep for at least a week. May also be frozen.
  1. If you prefer to omit the chocolate, you may substitute raisins, dried cranberries, nuts, or a mix of all three.
The Fountain Avenue Kitchen
Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins (grain-free)Thanks to the use of almond butter and pumpkin, these tasty muffins are packed with protein and vitamins and can be whipped up with a short list of pantry ingredients.Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins (grain-free)



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  1. Diane

    OMG!!!! My son and I just made these and we fell in love!!! THANK YOU so much for the excuse to be in the kitchen with my son and for the incredibly yummy recipe!!!!

    1. Ann

      Hi Beth, I have not tried peanut butter with this specific recipe but have in others where it worked well. I would not hesitate to try. If you do, please let me know how you made out!

  2. Lanie

    Love these! and love the fact that my 6 year old son who is allergic to peanut butter is getting some fabulous and yummy protein. Thank you!

  3. Kelsey

    I made these and froze half to thaw for afternoon snacks. They are amazing, and have a great texture. I added chopped walnuts to mine. I think next time I will either try a smaller amount of chocolate chips or not even use them, they are a little sweet for me (my taste buds changed on a paleo diet!). Thank you!!!

  4. Debi

    I love these, Ann and cannot wait to make them for my boys! Thank you for sharing on Thursday’s Treasures. I’m going to feature them on Week 108! <3

  5. Jan

    The Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins sound great. Do you happen to know any nutritional information on the muffins? Thanks.

    1. Ann

      Hi Jen, I do not currently provide nutritional information as I so often give people a variety of options within a recipe. Many people report liking for this. Here is a link if you’d like to try…and I hope you enjoy the muffins!

  6. Christie

    These were FANTASTIC!! After I made the first batch and they were gone, I made another batch the next morning.

    The only downside is that they only make 10!!!

    Every recipe of yours that I have made has been great!!


  7. Stacie

    Ok, so let me first say, no one in my family has a gluten or grain issue, however I decided to make these muffins simply because I love pumpkin and had just bought Almond butter, so I was intrigued. WELL….. my family raved and raved and fought over these! Taylor asked me to make another batch to take back to college with him. So thank you! Big hit in this household.

    I have both boys trying to eat healthy – one to maintain weight and fitness and one trying to bulk up. These being rich in protein fits the bill for both!

    One question, have you found a place to buy almond butter in large quantity? I should really be making these in double batches so I will be going through Almond Butter in mass!

    1. Ann

      You are so sweet to leave this fabulous comment! My boys love these, too, and you have a good question on the almond butter. I am guessing there is an online source that would sell it for a good price in bulk. I will have to check it out. Also, for locals, someone just told me that you can grind your own nut butters at Stauffer’s, but I don’t know how much it costs. Maplehofe’s at Central Market might even offer a larger container. If anyone else has any good sources, feel free to comment…and thanks again, Stacie!

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  11. Erika

    These have turned into a favorite in our house! Love that they are grain and gluten-free because they are made with almond butter instead of flour. I calculated that each muffin is about 250 calories, and they are full of protein and healthy fat.

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  13. Tricia

    Has anyone tried making these using an egg replacement option? If so, which one did you use?? I would love to try these muffins since I LOVE all things pumpkin!

    1. Ann

      Hi Tricia,
      Coincidently, I just tested a new egg replacer on the following recipe and it worked amazingly well. The product (called “neat egg”) is an all-natural combination of ground chia seeds and garbanzo beans. In the linked recipe, I show the cookies pictured with a batch made with a real egg–nobody could tell the difference. No disparity in taste either. I haven’t tried it on these muffins but I wouldn’t hesitate to try.

    1. Ann

      Hi Amanda,
      I’m not well versed in the Piyo diet, but I would say these muffins overlap into the healthy fats, lean proteins, and fresh fruit categories of that diet. I hope that helps and that you enjoy!

  14. Hillary

    Because we have nut and egg allergies, I substituted the peanut butter with sunbutter and instead of egg I mixed flax meal with water, and the muffins came out fantastic! They are a big hit for our whole family- thanks!

    1. Ann

      Hi Grace,
      I think this recipe would work well in a loaf pan–even a cake pan. I haven’t tried it, so I would just caution against the batter being too deep in any given pan. That way, the edges and the center should bake evenly.

  15. Lori

    I just wanted to thank you for posting this recipe, it’s been a staple in our house for over 1.5 years now. I probably make it once a month; I had to switch to a grain-free diet for health reasons and these are my favorite muffins 🙂 . I like to add the eggs first, that way I can mix everything easily in one bowl meaning less mess. I’ve tried these with cashew butter in a pinch and they turn out airier, but not as flavorful. For the best taste, sometimes I’ll use the Justin brand of Almond Butter with Maple Syrup. Delish! I always double the recipe and fill the tins almost to the top, that way they’ll get a “muffin top” and look like a normal muffin which is not usually the case with grain-free muffins. Anyway, I love them and just wanted to say it’s a great recipe!

    1. Ann Post author

      Thanks so much for taking a moment to let me know, Lori, and to mention the helpful details regarding cashew butter, etc. I’m thrilled these have become a regular at your house. Someday soon I’m going to try the recipe with mashed over-ripe bananas in place of pumpkin and see how that works out. If you’re inspired and happen to try before I do, please report back!

  16. Elizabeth

    Mmmm, these are amazing!! My family is loving these. They are gluten and dairy free and only use honey as a sweetner.
    Can’t wait to try more of your recipes! Thank you!!

    1. Ann Post author

      I’m so glad these are a hit with your family, Elizabeth, and I hope you find many more that everyone enjoys!

  17. Deb Fish

    Hi Ann,

    These are one of my favorites and make them often, substituting chopped walnuts for the chocolate chips because I am a type 2 Diabetic. So today when I was making them, I decided to add 1/2 cup of flaxseed meal, which I use often in other recipes and had on hand. I baked them for 20 minutes and they still came out great. Nice and moist but with that little extra that ground flaxseed gives recipes. I love that I am getting a little bit of extra fiber to help off set the sugar from the honey.

    1. Ann Post author

      I love that you added flax meal to these, Deb–I bet it added a little something extra to the texture, too. Might just have to try that myself! So glad these have been a standby for you.

    1. Ann Post author

      Hi Deanna, I would try a cake pan or pie plate because it would be easier to cook it evenly and you could cut nice wedges. So glad you liked!